Chicago Blackhawks goalie, Corey Crawford, has a case for being the most under-appreciated goalie of the 2010s.
The Chicago Blackhawks had a lot of success this past decade, but Corey Crawford didn’t get much love from non-Chicago fans. It’s fair that Crawford was the most under-appreciated goalie during the 2010s.
Corey Crawford got his start with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010-11 after the team won the first of their eventual three Stanley Cups. At first, Crawford was considered a downgrade from Antti Niemi. He didn’t find much success early on, which gave people fuel to be disrespectful to Crawford.
Even though the Blackhawks made the playoffs, and Crawford was in the conversation for the Calder trophy in 2010-11, fans still wanted Niemi. The experts wouldn’t talk much of Crawford. Yes, he played well, but he still was an unproven goaltender.
After back-to-back first-round exits, Corey Crawford created a reputation as a ‘successful goalie who couldn’t win in the playoffs’. Goalies who found success, like Jonathan Quick, Henrik Lundqvist, and Carey Price were considered the top-tier goalies.
After Crawford went 19-5-5 in 30 starts in 2012-13, he finally got some recognition. Crawford won the Jennings’ trophy, along with backup goalie Ray Emery. Before the playoffs, it was a debate on who should start in the playoffs. The Blackhawks had to decide between the reliable veteran Emery, or the young gun, Crawford.
At the time, Crawford had yet to win a playoff series and Emery only lost one game during the regular season. Emery would get injured which kept him out of the first round. The Blackhawks would give the keys to Crawford.